The caravan industry is filled with terms for the different types of caravan, not to mention the myriad fixtures and fittings that are available to owners. To make life easier and make things a little clearer, we decided to create a dictionary of caravan and caravan-related terms to help you know exactly what you're looking at when you're scrolling through our listings. Read on and educate yourself with OnlyVans!
Camper trailers are lightweight and highly portable. Designed to pack down and stow away during transit and storage, camper trailers are frequently constructed from lightweight canvas or synthetic fabric and open up once you reach your destination, offering sizeable living and sleeping space without the footprint of a full-size caravan.
Forward-fold campers are camper trailers where the lid opens forward towards the tow vehicle, with the bed sitting above the tow bar and toolbox. Forward-fold campers have a hard floor and will often feature built-in furniture such as a lounge or dining table inside the tray of the trailer.
Hard Floor Camper
A hard floor camper is any type of camper that has a solid floor within, such as a forward fold camper.
Off-road camper trailers are rugged camper trailers that are built for Australia's toughest trips. Lightweight and durable with a high ride height, off-road camper trailers will feature serious suspension and off-grid amenities such as water tanks and solar panels.
Rear Fold Camper
Rear fold campers are camper trailers where the lid opens towards the tailgate, with the bed remaining fixed within the tray of the trailer. Rear fold campers will often feature a shallower tray than forward folds and won't have any furniture.
Soft Floor Camper
A soft floor camper is any type of camper that has a soft floor (such as canvas or PVC) within. Soft floor campers will often feature a bed inside the tray of the trailer, with a large tent that folds out and onto the ground to create the living space.
Teardrop campers are a compact form of fixed camper that is shaped like a teardrop. Teardrop campers feature a bed inside that is accessed through a door, and will often have small cooking facilities in the rear of the camper.
A slide-on camper is a removable cabin that is designed to be mounted on the back of a ute or truck. Slide-on campers can range from low-height options with little more than a bed, to larger configurations that resemble miniature motorhomes.
A caravan is a type of recreational vehicle (RV) that is towed behind a vehicle to serve as a mobile home. Caravans can range in size from 10ft to 25ft+ and contain amenities ranging from nothing more than a bed to full-sized kitchens and bathrooms complete with power and hot water.
An on-road caravan is designed for travelling on roads and highways and is intended to be parked at campsites and caravan parks. On-road caravans can vary widely in size, from compact 10ft models designed for overnight getaways to massive 22ft touring caravans that you can take on the road for months at a time.
A dual-axle caravan is one that features two axles. Double-axle caravans tend to range from 17ft-23ft in length, with anything less than 17ft only requiring a single axle.
A single-axle caravan refers to any caravan with only one axle. Single-axle caravans range from 10ft-16ft in length, with anything larger than 16ft requiring a second axle to be towed safely.
A small caravan is generally considered to be any caravan under 16ft. Small caravans will often lack some of the amenities you would expect on a larger caravan (such as a kitchen or ensuite bathroom) on account of their smaller size.
Expander caravans are like the pop-tops horizontal cousin and feature expandable compartments that open up from each end of the caravan and fold back in during transit.
A family caravan refers to any caravan capable of sleeping more than two people. Family caravans will often feature bunk beds, as well as other family-friendly features.
A quad-bunk caravan is any caravan that has four bunk beds in addition to the main bed. These caravans are designed for families, with the positioning of the bunks varying between manufacturers. Common layouts include a stack of three bunks, with a fourth positioned elsewhere in the van, or two stacks of twin bunks on opposite walls, usually at the rear of the caravan.
A triple-bunk caravan is any caravan that has three bunks in addition to the main bed. These caravans are designed for families, with the bunks usually positioned in the rear of the caravan in a single, built-in stack of three.
A luxury caravan is a class of caravan that is defined by its number of amenities and quality of finish. Luxury caravans typically cost six figures and feature bathrooms, full-sized kitchens and large windows as standard, in addition to top-of-the-range appliances and fittings.
Slide-out caravans feature a compartment that slides out from either the side or rear of the caravan to create more interior space. These compartments can be electric or manually operated (although in large caravans they tend to be electric) and often contain the bed or sleeping area.
A pop-top caravan is a style of caravan that features a raisable roof that pops up when you reach your destination. Pop-top caravans are popular due to their low travel height, which also makes them practical for owners who lack the storage height for a regular caravan.
Semi-off-road caravans offer the best of both worlds and allow you to take on some bush trails or dirt roads without having to worry about damaging your caravan.
Like on-road caravans, off-road caravans are available in a range of sizes depending on your budget and needs. Off-road caravans are designed for rough outback roads and cross-country travel and are equipped with rugged suspension, chunkier tyres, increased ride height, and an articulating coupling.
A hybrid caravan is a versatile design that combines the size and amenities of a caravan, such as permanent rigid walls, bathrooms and kitchens, with the suspension, build quality, and off-grid features of a camper trailer. Hybrid caravans are a good option for owners who want to mix up their travel and visit caravan parks as well as getting off-grid.
Toy haulers are a large class of caravan that allows you to load bikes, motorbikes, kayaks and other equipment directly inside. Toy haulers will frequently feature a drop-down ramp at the rear of the caravan to make loading your equipment easier.
A 5th wheeler is a caravan that attaches to a tow vehicle using a hitch or turntable on the back of the vehicle, instead of on the tow ball. 5th wheelers often feature a gooseneck design that allows them to mount to the hitch inside the bed of an ute.
A motorhome is a self-driven and self-contained form of transport that doesn't require a tow vehicle. Motorhomes vary in size but are typically 3-7m long, have a higher price point than caravans, and feature amenities such as kitchens and bathrooms as standard. Many motorhome owners live in their vehicles year-round and they are incredibly popular amongst retirees and Grey Nomads.
A bus is exactly what it sounds like - a bus! Larger than even the biggest motorhomes, buses offer the most living space for those who want to bring their home on their backs without needing to tow it behind them. Although they aren't as common in Australia as they are in the United States, you will still see them from time to time.
A campervan is a smaller version of a motorhome, typically the size of a large van such as a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Campervans are designed for shorter trips away and will generally feature a bed and limited cooking facilities, but not a full kitchen or bathroom.